The Spiritual Autoimmune Disease
Sedevancantism affects Vatican 2 Catholics in different ways, very few of whom accept it outright. Instead, they usually fall prey to what could be called the anti-sedevacantist syndrome. Like auto immune disorders which find the body’s defense system attacking the body, these Catholics will actually attack their own religion thinking they’re using sound logic and reason to defend their faith. The condition prevents Catholics from maintaining membership in the Church, which, in turn, destroys the soul. The anti-sedevacantist syndrome involves one or more of the following seven deadly symptoms.
1. Stupid Mode
Stupid mode is when otherwise very bright and learned persons make utterly ridiculous claims, as when apologist extraordinaire Dr. Robert Sungenis argues that a pope can manifestly reject the Catholic faith wholesale and remain pope, because no one can judge a pope. Such view is a rejection of the Divine law that popes must be Catholic.
2. Refusal to Answer Questions
This symptom occurs when Vatican 2 Catholics are confronted with glaring contradictions such as doctrines and dogmas being reversed. Of course, they can’t logically answer the questions to the implications of the reversed teachings without undermining their own religion. Sometimes they will simply reply that the contradiction is a hermeneutic of continuity and legitimate development of doctrine, even though no continuity exists and doctrines can’t develop in the reverse.
3. Playing Dumb
A friend and I recently witnessed this symptom by a local Catholic radio host who used this tactic to avoid the quagmire regarding the dogma of the Church being one. To save face for her beloved popes and herself, this bible teacher, a miss know-it-all on the air, played dumb by alleging the oneness of the Church professed in the Creed by Catholics every Sunday is “too complicated.” Her reply is a rejection of Pope Pius XI teaching in Mortalium Animos of 1928: “The teaching authority of the Church in the divine wisdom was constituted on earth in order that the revealed doctrines might remain for ever intact and might be brought with EASE and SECURITY to the knowledge of men.”
4. Making up Excuses
“It wasn’t formal teaching, therefore it’s not binding upon me,” “Everybody makes mistakes,” and my favorite, “He was so holy that he must not have intended to go against the faith,” are typical rationalizations used to defend the indefensible. How is Vatican 2 not formal? How can popes make the mistake of rejecting the Natural and Divine law? How can holiness not demand orthodoxy?
5. Denying the Facts
The facts concern the teachings and actions which contradict the faith, and the implications thereof. For instance, Vatican 2 teaches and encourages inter-religious worship (communicatio in sacris) which has been infallibly condemned as contrary to the Divine law by the universal and ordinary magisterium. However, the conciliar popes have put into practice the abominable teaching of Vatican 2 by praying and worshiping with Muslims in Mosques, Jews in Synagogues, Voodooists in Africa, Zoroastrians in India, etc.
The implication is that the conciliar popes have manifestly rejected the Divine law in belief and practice, which is impossible for any faithful Catholic, much less true popes.
One good example comes from Tim Staples of Catholic Answers Live who has repeated the same lies about the law of the Church after I have personally and repeatedly sent him the official commentaries on the law that refutes his explanations. In trying to debunk sedevacantism, Catholic Answers Live has created laws and Church teachings that don’t exist. What’s worse, they knowingly misrepresent the position of sedevacantism on world-wide radio, which is a classic example of calumny condemned in the Eighth Commandment.
7. Shutting Down / Cutting off
We have seen in our meetings with priests and “Catholic” radio personalities that once they realized where the conversation was headed in its condemnation of the conciliar popes and their Vatican 2 religion, their body language read: I’m finished with this discussion. They then proceed to change the subject or cut short the dialogue altogether. After one such meeting, two of the radio hosts made derogatory remarks on air about us being “Dogmatist watching Pharisees.” When confronted with our emails about their sly remarks and misrepresentation, the two radio hosts resorted back to symptom number two.
Unlike many terrible autoimmune diseases, the cause and cure is known for the anti-sedevacantist syndrome. The cause is pride (won’t admit error, vanity, etc.) and fear (loss of family, friends, security, etc.). The cure is humility and courage. The medicine is our prayer, fasting and God’s grace.